Reading Challenge 2021

I love a good challenge, and the one I completed last year led me to read several 5-star books I might not have come across otherwise, so I was excited to set myself another one for this year. After much thought (and coffee) I decided not to participate in a year-long challenge but to mix it up a bit by setting myself monthly reading goals. They’re mostly quite broad and I’m giving myself the option to double-up – that is, use one book to meet two challenges if I choose to. So here they are – my 9 monthly reading goals for 2021.

1.Read at least one book from my shelves

This means a physical book that I already own.
I don’t have hundreds of unread books on my shelves like some people seem to , but I have more than enough to last a year, and some of them have been gathering dust for a long time. I chose to buy them, so I’m going to read them.

2.Read at least one book from my Kindle

Again, there are at least a dozen books waiting on my Kindle and I want to start whittling them down. I have 3 months of Kindle Unlimited, so I can download a heap more and give myself plenty of choice. As part of this, I’ve decided to take my Kindle along whenever I know I’ll need to wait somewhere on my own for a while, like at a doctor’s appointment.

3.Read at least one book from my library

I am a huge supporter of public libraries and I love mine. I used to read so many library books, but it has trailed off a bit and I intend to change that. I already have a whole list of books I want to read that are held in my library, so I have no excuse.

4.Read one Middle Grade book

This is a challenge I’ve never done before. I mostly read adult fiction, with the occasional YA, but I haven’t read much Middle Grade for many years. However, there are some great books out there, and I am toying with the idea of writing for Middle Grade at some point, so I need to do my research. Besides, I expect this to be fun.

5.Participate in one Group or Buddy Read

I am part of the Epic Fantasy group on Goodreads and I read Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy with them last year. It was great having online discussions about the books and I want to continue this year. They do both Group Reads and Buddy Reads and I’ve signed on for a couple already for 2021.

6.Read one book that meets a random challenge

This is a little hard to explain, but I know what I mean.😁 Each month I am going to choose a random challenge – it might be based on a blogger or Youtuber’s TBR challenge or I might draw slips of paper out of a container or whatever I feel like at the time. For example, in January I wrote down ten criteria like ‘a book with a blue cover’ and ‘the highest rated book on my Goodreads Want to Read List’, etc and then randomly chose one of them and found a book to meet it. For February I picked a TBR game on Youtube and had to meet the first challenge that came up there. This is the only category where I don’t get to strictly choose any book I like, so I felt it was good to include it. And also, again, fun.

7.Read in at least three genres

Pretty self-explanatory. I can read in any genres I choose, but I must include at least three every month. This is because I realised that several months last year I only read two different genres and I want to branch out a bit more. Four would be better, but I’m being kind to myself and saying at least three.

8.Read at least four books

I expect to read more than forty-eight books in total in 2021 but I had a couple of reading slumps last year and want to hold myself to reading a bit more consistently. So four books every month is the minimum. If I’m really struggling, they can include novellas or other short-form writing.

9.Read at least 1500 pages

This is pushing myself a bit harder than last year, when I read an average of about 1200 pages a month, but I do enjoy long books and the complex story and character arcs they allow, so I’m happy to push. This is probably the challenge I’m least confident of meeting, but I’m giving it a go.

So there they are: my 9 monthly reading challenges for 2021. Spoiler alert: I already met all of them in January, so I’m off to a good start. Do you like challenging yourself as a motivation to read? If so, what are your reading challenges for this year?

First Reading Challenge 2020

I like doing reading challenges, but because I already have so many Writing Goals for this year, I was hesitant to take on a really difficult or time-consuming one. I needed a challenge that isn’t too challenging, if you know what I mean. But also I didn’t want to cheat and choose one that didn’t take me out of my comfort zone at all.

Enter Ramona Mead and her 2020 While I was Reading Challenge. Here’s Ramona’s take on this challenge:

My goal is to create categories that are challenging and personalized, yet not too difficult as to be extremely limiting or frustrating. I stuck with 12 categories to keep it realistic and accessible to people with less reading time than myself!

That sounded perfect. There’s also a Facebook Group and a Goodreads Group if I decide I want to engage with other participants.